Kathy Drewitt, Executive Director of the Downtown Hamilton BIA made a presentation to the General Issues Committee of City Council on Monday, August 10th outlining some of the expected impacts to BIA members along the proposed route for LRT.
Along with Susie Braithwaite, Executive Director of the International Village BIA, they explained that BIA members would be adversely impacted by construction, traffic congestion, delivery and customer access along King Street and James Street North. They reported that they were investigating best practices to help their members during long construction projects. Mrs. Drewitt also wanted to make sure that whatever Interim Control Measures council implements will not stall or delay already proposed redevelopment plans that were already in the works for Downtown Hamilton.
Both BIAs asked to be part of the LRT Committee to help mitigate LRT construction impacts and facilitate communication strategies for LRT implementation going forward. The report approved by Council included BIAs as key stakeholders on the LRT Committee.
The report also outlined a very aggressive time line to get a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), 30% design features of the proposed Spur to the waterfront, Environmental Assessment review, Project Specific Output Specifications, Request for Quotes, Request for Proposals. It is expected that this all occur within the next 18 to 24 months. Shovels were expected to hit the ground by spring of 2019.
Extensive traffic modeling will need to be updated with the revised alignments and a traffic management plan will need to be completed before construction begins. Routes requiring rehabilitation in the vicinity of LRT may need to be advanced or deferred to avoid LRT construction period.
Good news for the Downtown was that the City was preparing to repurpose its bus/LRT facility at 330 Wentworth Street by relocating its Operations centre, call centre, DARTS offices, to Downtown locations.
Moving forward, we have asked that we are kept updated through the City of Hamilton, both through city staff attending the board meeting(s), and through the City’s sub-committee that will address this issue.